Football team makes history


Matt Kieft

State game against Peoria.

It’s almost the start of the game, and the crowd cheers in the background as the football team is gathered together in a pre-game huddle. Head Coach Mr. Bill Bellecomo takes a deep breath in as he approaches his players to discuss what plays will be pivotal, knowing that in this game, every decision is crucial.

“It was an amazing experience, and a lot people going in told me to take it all in, and that’s exactly what I did. I’ll remember being up on the podium and bringing the trophy down to our kids, and all the hard effort. I’ll remember how hard they battled against Peoria, and we just came up a little short,” said Bellecomo.

This season was definitely exciting to watch and experience and is one that will definitely go down in school history. Despite the 48-62 loss, they made history by getting farther in the postseason than any other Cougar football team in VH history, and bringing home a second place trophy in state.

One thing Bellecomo will remember from this season is the kids, and the seniors especially because  “they were a great group of kids that I’ve been with for four year and I’ll never forget those guys,” Bellecomo said.

This season was a special experience for the seniors. “You just dream of doing that ever since you’re a kid,” said cornerback Nick Marras (12).

If you watched the game, whether it was live on the field or at home on TV, it was quite an exciting game to watch with the back and forth scoring between each team.

“It was un-describable. It was one of the best feelings ever,” said Marras.

Going into halftime, the Cougars were barely behind with a score of 40-35, and Bellecomo wanted the halftime conversation to be a positive one.

“I wanted the kids to know that we had just played a good half of football against a great team, and we got them right where we wanted them. I thought we were in a good position at halftime. We wanted to get them in a tight game and see if they had to work for it,” said Bellecomo.

With the scoring in the game against Peoria going back and forth, it was important to stay motivated the entire game.

“You always want to win. If you’re competitive, you coach and you want to win the game,” said Bellecomo, “but you know you don’t really think what’s keeping you going when you’re so focused on winning the game and how to put yourself in the position to win the game.”

There also isn’t much time to think too much as a coach in a game like the one against Peoria. Bellecomo said he was spinning and the few times he did take a moment to think it was along the lines of: “boy we need to stop them.”

Bellecomo described this year’s group of football players as a true team and so many players contributed to their very successful season, especially this year’s senior class; Kyle Hull, Andrew Smith, Drew Winegardner, Chris Mariella, Jeffrey Rosenstock, James Trey Homer, and many others were key players throughout the state game and the entire season. That factor really helped create the strong team bond felt on the field this season.

“We’ve been playing with each other since we were young, so I think since we had a lot of chemistry it really helped us to make that run,” said Marras.  

For the seniors on the team, this season was unforgettable and hopefully next season will be just the same. As for next year’s remaining team, I think it’s safe to say that the seniors wish them all the best and have passed a lot of advice on to them for future seasons.

“I mean anything can really happen, especially in the playoffs; it’s whoever comes out on that specific day [that] could change everything. So come out hotter than the other team [then] things can go your way,” said Marras.